Waiver Wire Week 4 Pickups
Shoutout to James Bryer for filling in for me last week with a solid waiver wire article while I was away on vacation. Week three brought about a ton of injuries with guys like AJ Brown, Christian McCaffrey, James White, Sterling Shepard, JuJu Smith Schuster, and other role players going down. Those are some big names that will leave some holes in your roster, so let’s look at some guys who should be available that can help you fill those holes.
*All rostered percentages are from Sleeper and all players must be less than 50% rostered to qualify.
Quarterback 30% rostered
Darnold has six touchdowns through his first three games, three of which being rushing touchdowns. His upcoming schedule is arguably one of the easiest schedules with the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, Giants, and Falcons on deck. With CMC down, the attempts should only go up for Darnold and with his trio of playmaking receivers along with pass-catching tight end Dan Arnold, he has the tools to succeed doing it. It will only help his case if he keeps up his rushing success as well.
Quarterback 13% rostered
I mentioned Heinicke in my quick hits section at the bottom of all my articles, in my first waiver wire article of the year. I noted his talented supporting cast and sneaky rushing upside as the main draws for adding him if you find yourself in a Quarterback pinch due to injury or league format (SuperFlex/Two QB Leagues). All of that was on display this week as Antonio Gibson took a short pass and turned it into a 73-yard touchdown as well as Heinicke picking up another touchdown on the ground himself. Next up is the Atlanta Falcons, who have been a soft matchup for opposing offenses so far, making Heinicke a fine streaming play in Week four.
Running Back 41% rostered
Running Back 0% rostered
Obviously, this is dependent on CMC’s injury status in the upcoming days, but if it comes out that he is to miss time, Carolina will use some combination of these two guys to fill the void. Hubbard should get the first crack and majority of snaps, but call me a sucker for Freeman. I wouldn’t be surprised if Freeman takes over passing downs with Hubbard dropping a few crucial ones last week, including a potential touchdown. I don’t see either one of these guys being a Mike Davis level replacement like Davis was last year, so I wouldn’t break the bank on them. Depending on league size, a savvy move may be to “zig” to the cheaper Freeman while others “zag” to the more expensive Hubbard. Week four brings a Dallas defense who hasn’t looked very impressive thus far.
Running Back 7% rostered
We all laughed when Jon Gruden said that Peyton Barber was going to carry the load in Josh Jacobs’s absence…turns out he was serious. Barber slashed the Dolphins for 111 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards on three catches. We won’t have an updated status on Jacobs until later in the week most likely, but in the meantime, Barber is worth a speculative add in the event Jacobs misses again. That would put him in the driver’s seat against a Chargers defense who just let up a 100-yard game (5.88YPC) to the struggling Clyde Edwards-Helaire who had failed to reach 50 yards rushing in his first two games.
Wide Receiver 3% rostered
As a lifelong Buccaneers fan, it pains me to admit our secondary is in trouble. Down to our fourth string corners due to injury, Matt Stafford and the gang embarrassed us on Sunday. If Jamel Dean’s injury costs him this week, we once again will be rolling out some combo of Dee Delaney and Russ Cockrell across from starter Carlton Davis. Davis should be on Meyers or Agholor all game, leaving Bourne the opportunity to take advantage of the Buc’s backups. Going against his former team, I can see Tom Brady making it a statement game, meaning that the Patriots should be passing all game. No James White, negative game script, positive cornerback matchups, and coming off a 6-96-1 line this past week, Bourne could be a sneaky flex for those of you in slightly larger leagues.
Wide Receiver 45% rostered
Callaway’s slow start resulted in a mass dropping of his roster percentage before Sunday’s matchup, dropping him below the 50% mark. He responded by having his best game yet, catching four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Next up is a matchup against the 0-3 New York Giants and after being a sleeper of mine since before Pre-Season, I am a believer in Callaway and think this is the beginning of him turning it around. He then gets the Washington Football Team, whose defense has been a surprising disappointment, before the team’s bye in Week six, which is when we may see Michael Thomas return. I actually think the return of Thomas could help Callaway by taking the opposing teams attention off of him and onto Thomas.
Wide Receiver 21% rostered
Don’t look now, but Renfrow has reached double digits in every week so far this year in PPR formats and next week brings a matchup versus the Chargers led by Justin Herbert fresh off a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr should get back into the 50+ attempts conversation like he was in Week One’s shootout against the Ravens, leaving plenty of volume opportunity for Renfrow to keep his streak alive.
Wide Receiver 36% rostered
Tight End 11% rostered
“LOCKING IN MANNY IN DFS THIS WEEK” is what I texted my buddy this week before the games and boy did he deliver. Josh Allen finally got back on track and all of his pass-catchers benefited as a result. The now-hot Josh Allen should absolutely torch the lowly Houston Texans next week making all these guys great plays again, Sanders and Knox included. Sure they have to split their looks with Diggs and Beasley. That being said, Sanders has more scoring upside than Beasley and with the Tight End landscape being so bare, Knox is worth taking a shot on and seeing if he can extend his touchdown streak to three games while Josh Allen seems to have his swagger back.
Tight End 36% rostered
In an early season group article I was in, I highlighted Everett as a favorite sleeper of mine. After catching a touchdown in Week one, followed by a slow Week two, he got back on track this week with five catches for 54 yards. Still only modestly owned for how shallow the tight end position is, I like grabbing him if you are looking for TE help (who isn’t nowadays?) in the hopes that his involvement sticks. Tyler Lockett was also injured this week but returned to the game. If that were to linger and force him to miss time, that would only help Everett.
- There’s not much else in terms of Quarterback outside of the guys I mentioned.
- Don’t forget about Jeff Wilson Jr. . He is due to return from PUP soon and has shined every opportunity he was given in the past as a starter.
- Josh Gordon has signed with the Chiefs. This is 100% your own gut call. Paired with Mahomes and no WR2 to compete with Gordon could excel in this offense…or he could make us waste a pick on him to only let us down for the fifth year in a row. I would not spend a top 6 waiver wire priority or more than 10% of my FAAB budget on him. But if you can get him for cheaper than that, I am on board with the upside, especially in larger leagues.
- At Wide Receiver the trio of Cardinals receivers outside of Deandre Hopkins are all worth adding, with Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore the priorities. AJ Green can be considered in slightly larger leagues like 14 teamers. Good to have pieces of high-octane offenses.
- James Washington and Pat Freiermuth stand to benefit if Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith Schuster are forced to miss any more time. Eric Ebron has been an absolute non-factor and is droppable in all leagues.
- I suggest getting ahead of the curve and grabbing promising Ravens first-round pick Rashod Bateman before he gets activated off of IR. The kid is uber-talented.
- I think Tyler Conklin’s game was an anomaly this week and that KJ Osborn remains the preferred number three option for the Vikings. But in a barren wasteland of Tight Ends outside of the few elite, he is worth considering along with Dan Arnold and the Buccaneers backups Cameron Brate and OJ Howard in the event Gronkowski’s injury flares up throughout the week.
- The Titans DST has been not good so far this season, but their next two games are against the two struggling rookies Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence so they are worth keeping an eye on the next two weeks. Bengals DST on a short week against Lawrence coming off back to back good games will be worth streaming as well if you’re in need.
Brandon aka @Doublehfantasy1 has been playing fantasy football (and winning championships) since 2002. He has a special place in his heart for larger leagues and lives by the motto, “If you’re in a 10 team league, first thing you should do as commissioner is add more people”. Brandon is dedicated to providing deeper analysis on players after years of seeing useless vanilla takes all over the mainstream fantasy world for years. Brandon is a life long South Jersey resident but the only thing he loves more than a good beer is the Buccaneers. Go Bucs!